Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.770651
Title: Toward a "two-war legion" : renegotiating First World War memory in the British and American legions, 1938-1946
Author: Garber, Ashley
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 7656
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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Abstract:
This thesis explores the renegotiation of First World War memory in response to the Second in a comparative study of two ex-servicemen's organisations, the British and American Legions. Through a close reading of two organisational periodicals - the British Legion Journal and the American Legion Magazine - published from 1938 through 1946, this study examines how conceptualisations of duty and service, comradeship, and the social contract that were anchored in the First World War shifted as the Second unfolded. It extends existing scholarship by deconstructing the Second World War into its constituent events and charting First World War narrative shifts according to these developments in real time. In addition to highlighting the peculiarities of each national context, the project's unprecedented use of the British and American Legions as comparative case studies illuminates common factors affecting the evolution of memory transnationally, specifically aging, generational shifts, and sub-national identities. According to these factors, certain narratives of the Great War came to be privileged over others, shaping the longer-term evolution of memory discourses for veterans who identified with that conflict. In both groups, discussions used the First World War as the definitive reference point for understanding the Second, framing the earlier conflict as a "learning experience". The extent to which each country was seen to have learned from these "lessons" influenced the perceived significance and meaning of the Great War. The study sheds light upon the differing level of importance afforded to the First World War in British and American historical memory, arguing that the specific ways in which the conflict was used to understand its successor inflected and ultimately altered the war's memory in both the British and American Legions.
Supervisor: Gregory, Adrian ; Davies, Gareth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.770651  DOI: Not available
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